When my Uncle Larry and Aunt Jeanette Byer moved to New Orleans, Louisiana after taking a job transfer, I have to imagine that it was pretty hard on my grandmother, Hattie Byer, Uncle Larry’s mom. Grandma, like most mothers, liked having her children close, and to have one move almost 1600 miles away, has a bit of a sting to it. I can relate to how Grandma must have felt, since I now have a daughter who lives 1200 miles away. I always knew I wouldn’t love having my kids leave, but you can’t really grasp just how it feels until it happens to you. Nevertheless, people have told me that you get used to it, that you have a new place to vacation, and that you simply make arrangements to see them. I’ve also been told that they try to come home as often as they can, and you hope that is the way it works out, but you
never know, until you see for yourself, if it all really works out that exact way.
This was where Grandma Byer found herself when Uncle Larry and Aunt Jeanette moved to New Orleans for several years before his eventual retirement from Texaco. Everyone could see that this was the best move to make, but that didn’t make it easier. For Grandma, the move broadened her horizons, as it turned out. Grandma did go to see Uncle Larry and Aunt Jeanette, just as she had come to see our family when we lived in Superior, Wisconsin. In some ways, I have to wonder if…somewhere in the back of her mind, she liked having someone in her family living in Louisiana…because it would mean that she could go there for visits, and have someone who could really show her the sights, instead of trying to figure out what was good to see, and what wasn’t or what was boring. New Orleans is such a big place, with so much to see, and if you don’t know where all the cool sights are, you will miss something. I think that for Grandma, there would also be the being alone factor, that would not be very appealing, so going to visit her son and his wife, and see the sights must have been a great thrill for her.
Grandma never liked going to bed until all her kids were home, so having one of them so far away had to have been very hard. I’m certain it was hard on Uncle Larry and Aunt Jeanette too, because they had to leave their children and their family behind as well. Nevertheless, it was just for a short time and then they returned to Casper. We were all glad to have them back here. Sadly, Uncle Larry passed away on December 22, 2011. We will always miss he jokes, his smile, and his wonderful laugh. Today would have been Uncle Larry’s 81st birthday. Happy birthday in Heaven Uncle Larry. We love and miss you very much.